A week ago from Sunday I had the privilege to attend a meet and greet style event at Jim Alesci’s Place in their new Solon location with the Ohio Blogging Association gals! I arrived before anyone else because apparently I overestimated how much time it would take to drive to Solon from Akron (PS. only 25 minutes). My early arrival provided ample time for me to do a little exploring of the store on my own beforehand.
I loved hearing about how Alesci’s really is a family store. Jim Alesci’s grandfather started baking bread in the states shortly after arriving from Italy. From there, the family opened up a storefront in the 90s. And Alesci’s has grown into a Cleveland tradition.
First things first… let’s talk cheese. Or as we say in Italian, Antipasto. I loved them all. Every last one of them: soft cheeses; hard cheeses; new and old. Every. ONE.
Just when I thought my belly couldn’t be more full (PS. you can never have too much of this gouda), we were led on an official tour of the store. I loved meeting the whole family and hearing each of them give their personal spin on the store. Each of them has a unique story that truly gives Alesci’s that family feel that is insanely special.
[Pictured clockwise from upper left: Italian Beef Slider;
Pancetta Pasta Salad; Eggplant Parmesan; Roasted Beet Salad]
But let’s get to the food. Gah! All of the family-style food! Fifteen “tasting” courses. I say “tasting” because honestly, it was all family-style. I feel deprived of real Italian food, so I really, really, indulged in the courses. Like, I gave it my all to try and finish each course.
One of the woman who was helping to serve us is not technically family; but she is definitely Italian. And as she checked on me several times to make sure I was satisfied with the meals. I think she uttered something along the lines of I’m sorry about the portions… to which I replied “are you serious,” and followed it up with a comment about how that is SO typical Italian mother of her. Ha! Italians always, ALWAYS, make way more than they actually need for a crowd of people. In fact, I’ve come to expect it from my own family. Every function. Every party. Every big event.
I will tell you that I actually walked out with two bottles of montepulciano, pepperoni rolls (made with homemade bread) for dinner, and several, several, desserts. Oh, and a totally full tummy and happy heart. I loved every second of my experience at Alesci’s and I cannot wait to go back. Also? I need more Franks Gouda… already. Ha! #allthecheese
Thanks, OBA and Alesci’s for hosting us!
Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Ohio Blogging Association meet-up at Jim Alesci’s Place. We received complimentary food and drink, as well as gift cards to Alesci’s and a t-shirt. As always, all opinions are 100% my own